FROM A CORRESPONDENT
AGARTALA, Feb 18 : Though marred by large-scale sgs in VVPAT attached Electronic Voting Machines Tripura has once again retained its credibility of high rate of voting which has crossed 85 per cent till the evening and the election department officials predict it may touch 2013 record of 92 per cent after detail report come from all over the State.
Though by and large remained peaceful the poll process was disrupted in more than 150 places due to technical sg in EVM which was responsible for slow progress of voting. In some of the polling stations voting started two to three hour late.
Tapash Roy, additiol Chief Electoral Officer admitted that in some places EVM caused problem but claimed immediate steps were taken to repair or replace the EVM. In some places EVM caused problem in the mid-way after polling was started.
Long queues were seen in front of many polling stations in different places even after the scheduled polling time was over and the election officials said each one who entered into the booth premises within scheduled time will be allowed to cast their vote.
Total 292 candidates are contesting in today’s election for 59 seats going to polls. Election in Charilam constituency was countermanded due to the death of the CPI(M) candidate Ramendra rayan Debbarma. As per the new schedule election in this constituency will be held on March 12, 2018.
In the urban as well as in the rural areas especially in the hilly villages polling evoked much response. While visiting tribal domited Mandai, Sim and Takarjala constituencies it was seen that the tribals in festive mood and traditiol dress turned up before the polling station.
An elderly lady Ranjabati Debarma in Mandai area said she is casting vote for many years and recalled when it was in ballots. This time she was especially delighted with the VVPAT which is new to her. However, unfortutely she could not see if her vote went where she casted it as it disappeared before she could locate it.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar accompanied by his wife casted his vote in Agartala before heading for his constituency in Dhanpur. Similarly the BJP president Biplab Deb casted his vote in Udaipur and then rushed to his constituency in Bamalipur. Both of them claimed their respective party will win the election with comfortable majority.
Prime Minister rendra Modi telephoned Biplab Deb in the morning and blessed him and wished a victory.
Unprecedented security measures were taken by the Election Commission to ensure a peaceful election and over 50,000 central para-military forces were deployed and special observer also was appointed to look after the security arrangement. It also announced that sme of the forces will stay here for few days to prevent any post poll violence.
No untoward incident has been reported from any part of the state though the CPI(M) and BJP candidates in Takarjala and Bishalghar respectively alleged that the rival party workers prevented their supporters to come to polling station.
After the election is over all the EVM’s were taken to concerned counting centers with tight security where these will be kept in strong room till the date for counting on March 3 along with Meghalaya and galand.